Compassion focused therapy (CFT) for eating disorders: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of patients' experiences

Beattie, Claire (2017) Compassion focused therapy (CFT) for eating disorders: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of patients' experiences. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2017BeattieDClinPsy.pdf] PDF
Download (3MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


Background & Aims:
Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions which can be resistant to different types of treatment. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is recommended as the treatment of choice by the NICE guidelines but research has shown that it is only effective approximately 50% of the time. Therefore, more recent research has begun investigating alternative treatments, one of which is Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and the role self-compassion may have for eating psychopathology severity. The aim of the study is to explore the experience and meaning of Compassion Focused Therapy for individuals with eating disorders who have taken part in a 12-week group.

Seven participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview. The participants had all completed a 12-week Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) group. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).

Four Superordinate themes were identified during analysis; these are: blocks to compassion; compassion for self versus compassion for others; compassion for self versus compassion for the eating disorder and moving forwards. Each Superordinate theme comprised several subordinate themes.

The study explores the concept of the participants’ experiences of two types of compassion: compassion for the self versus compassion for the eating disorder and the conflicting goals of the eating disorder versus what the self wants from recovery. The incompatible goals lead to difficulty transferring theory into practice due to the consequences this has for the eating disordered part of the individual’s identity. Participants reported an overall increased awareness of emotional experience but there was recognition that recovery is a gradual process and there will be a continual need to apply the skills and techniques gained from the group throughout the recovery process.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Compassion focused therapy, CFT, eating disorders, interpretative phenomenological analysis, IPA, patient experience.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Mullen, Dr. Kenneth and Nevison, Dr. Charlotte
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Dr Claire Beattie
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8428
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 11:31
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2018 14:42

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year